The High court of Chhattisgarh has held that the police cannot register an FIR for the offence under section188 of the Indian Penal code. Holding thus, the court quashed an FIR registered against a doctor who alleged to have violated the directors issued by the collector in the wake of COVID-19.
Section 188 IPC deals with the offence relating to disobedience of an order promulgated by a public servant. The state argued that the police was competent to register the FIR as sec188 IPC was a cognizable offence. In rejecting this argument the court noted that the courts take cognizable of cases in which FIRs are registered on the basis of charge sheet(police reports) submitted after investigated under section173(8) CrPC. But, in case of section 188IPC, Courts are barred from taking cognizance except on a written complaint by the concerned public officer.
The HC was considering a writ petition filed by Dr.Apurva Ghiya to quash the FIR registered by Ambagad Chowki Police station of Rajnandgaon District. Advocate Shalvik Tiwari appeared for the petitioner. In June 2020, she reached her native place in Chhattisgarh from New Delhi after obtaining the requisite E-pass. She told the court that she had informed the Chief Medical & Health officer, Rajnandgaon, about her arrival. After she was tested positive for COVID-19, the FIR was lodged against her alleging that she had failed to inform Chief Medical & Health Officer, Ambagad Chowki, about her arrival from Delhi.
Recently, the Madras High Court had quashed an FIR for offences under section 188IPC on the same reasoning.